The Super League table will once again be decided by points percentage in the 2021 season, in the anticipation that COVID could be a factor again.
Win Points Percentage will be calculated as follows: the number of league points of a Club divided by the number of matches played by the Club, multiplied by 50.
Clubs will be required to have played a minimum of 70% of their scheduled fixtures to qualify for the Top Six Play-Offs in September (18 matches out of 25) – unless they have earned a position in the top six through league points despite having played fewer than 18 matches.
However, if a club cannot fulfil a match where COVID is not a factor, it will become a 24-0 win for the opposition, similar to what happened when Salford could not fulfil their fixture against Warrington back in October.
If four or more clubs have not played the minimum match requirement (70% of scheduled fixtures), the RFL Board will have discretion to determine an alternative minimum figure.
The Challenge Cup was also discussed. If a team has to forfeit within the first two rounds, the match will not be replayed, and the opposition will be given a bye. After that, the match will attempt to be rearranged, if there is space in the calendar for both sides.
The RFL Board have also approved changes to the permitted movement between clubs during the 2021 season, again in response to Covid-19.
At this time Dual Registration will not be permitted, but the minimum length of a loan period between clubs has been halved from four weeks to two – with strict criteria regarding testing procedures.
Players will also be permitted to move between teams at the same club (eg Academy to First Team); and from professional environments to international environments.
Finally, the Out of Contract date requiring clubs to advise players in the last year of their contracts of their intention with regard to contract offers will be put back from April 30 to May 31, to reflect the later start of the season – although players will still be able to speak to other clubs from May 1, as previously.